India’s food inflation remains above ‘comfort’ level – official

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Food inflation in India remains above New Delhi’s “comfort” level despite retail inflation easing in October, a government official said on Wednesday.

India’s retail inflation eased in October to a four-month low of 4.87%, edging closer to the central bank’s target of 4%, which it has said needs to be firmly in sight before it can start lowering rates.

Food inflation, which accounts for nearly half of the overall consumer price basket, was 6.61% in October, little changed from an upwardly revised 6.62% in September.

“We would like to see a broader moderation in food prices,” the official told reporters in New Delhi.

Vegetable, milk and cereal prices have been volatile and among the key drivers of the Asian country’s inflation.

Last week, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das highlighted risks from a spike in food prices saying India was vulnerable to “recurring and overlapping” food price shocks.

(Reporting by Shivangi Acharya; Editing by Christina Fincher)